My Mother's Tongue by Amy Tan

596 WordsFeb 2, 20182 Pages
In the personal essay “My Mothers Tongue” (1990), Amy Tan, widely known author explains her insights on language and culture identity using details and memories from her own life experiences. Tan conceals that the language in which her mother used with her “was the language that helped shape the way [she] saw things, expressed things, made sense of the world” (1208) and in the process it made her who she is today as an author. Tan illuminates the euro centricity of the Master Narrative by retelling stories of her mother being treated poorly because of her “broken” or “limited” English. She recalls many past experiences where her mother suffered from bad service and treatment from restaurants, stockbrokers, and even hospitals. Using examples from her personal life Tan gets her point across about language and culture characteristics in order to show how Chinese culture is affected by the master narrative and also encourages others to include a variety of cultures in order to overcome bias opinions. Tan’s apparent audience can be ranged from the child of an immigrant to a doctor and offers an authentic and rich portrayal of Chinese history through her conflicting experience of her Chinese and American cultures. In the essay “Straw into Gold: The Metamorphosis of the Everyday” (1984), Sandra Cisneros, nationally known Mexican-American author, uses an informal tone and fragment sentences such as “ I’d never seen anybody make corn tortillas. Ever” (1226) to help create a voice
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